Starting a diet sounds easy, but sticking to it and doing it properly becomes a real challenge when you encounter the first obstacles in your way. But many have gone through the same as you have, and everything has a solution as long as you’re willing to keep trying. Don’t give up. In this article, we’re going to review 6 of the most common pitfalls of dieting. Right after, we will give you appropriate solutions for each mistake and recommendations to keep on working towards your goals.
Getting obsessed over scale measures
Everything starts with a scale measure, even though it says very little about body composition. Still, dieting pictures are always represented with a measurement tape and a body scale, and people believe dropping sizes is the same as losing weight. But it is not. The scale measures body fat, but also muscle mass, body fluids, and a significant proportion of stools if you’re constipated. So, we should not raise any conclusion by just writing down a number.
As a fitting recommendation to avoid this problem and stop becoming obsessed over an ever-changing number, limit your weight measures to every 2 weeks of dedicated dieting and exercise program. Not every week or every day. Moreover, if you already know your diet is working and there’s no need for adjustments, you may choose to measure every 21 days or once every month. What we want is not becoming obsessed with the scale.
Overindulging in “diet” foods
So, you started a diet and will only consume diet foods. That sounds fine in theory, but in practice, it is not always so. You get all kinds of false advertisements about “diet” or “light” foods in stores, and you can mess up your diet by listening to their marketing claims. What they often call “diet” and “light” foods are not devoid of free sugars and saturated fats. They only have a bit less than the standard version. You still get a huge load, and it can seriously slow down your results.
To avoid this common problem, learn a bit about nutrients, and read the labels of any “light” or “diet” food you are planning to buy. Added sugars and saturated fats are the first things you need to look for. Always prefer fresh foods, and do not fall for this common marketing trick.
Neglecting proteins in your diet
When we think about losing weight, the most common approach is cutting carbs. We stop using specific ingredients, including rice, sweet potatoes, bread, and flour-based products. And that is fine because excess carbohydrates turn into fatty acids and store in your fat reserves. However, it is not the only thing you need to do in this type of diet. You also need to pay attention to proteins.
Proteins are the cornerstone of weight loss and will speed up the process if you’re living an active lifestyle. Combined with exercise, they will start changing your metabolism and stimulate burnout of calories in your muscle tissue, even if you’re not exercising. Moreover, proteins in your diet are responsible for keeping you satiated for a longer time. So, they will be your companions if you know how to use them.
Start using lean sources of protein, including lean beef cuts, eggs, chicken breast without skin, and turkey. You can also add legumes to your diet, especially low-carb sources such as lentils and chickpeas.
Giving in to social pressure
Giving in to social pressure when you’re dieting is pretty common, and if you haven’t encountered any of the above, you will definitely agree on this one. Social pressure is the major pitfall nowadays because it seems like your friends and family are against the notion of you working out and dieting. Moreover, they give you all kinds of opportunities to cheat on your diet every single time, and sometimes you’re tempted to say yes, and they tell you precisely what your sugar-craving stomach wants to hear.
There’s nothing you can do to change their mindset, and even though they will ultimately respect your position, first you need to prove that you’re serious with your diet. In doing so, one way to avoid giving in to social pressure is getting yourself around people that motivate you to follow your goals and keep your diet. Find a community at your local gym or look for internet sources of motivation and share your experiences with others. This type of interaction will give you the motivation you need to go ahead despite peer pressure.
Quitting after failing
We often start dieting with good spirits and doing everything correctly. Counting calories, weighing foods in the balance, preparing plastic or glass containers to take your meals to your job, and much more.
But that honeymoon period is not meant to last forever, and you start encountering problems. One day you may not have time to prepare your foods before going out to work. Then, you may not have one ingredient or two. Finally, you feel forced to have a quick escape from your diet and eat a burger to get back to a hectic day.
It happens to everybody, but some of us feel we’re not in control, and if we have already lost it, what does it matter anymore? That’s how an episode of binge eating starts, and it can be quite difficult to manage.
If you’re dieting and want results, you need to take it seriously. But if you want to bring perfection to your diet, you’re deemed to fail. You need to find the balance between doing everything as you should and being flexible in certain circumstances that will make you lose control. You don’t need to quit if you fail. And you don’t need to feel discouraged because you don’t get everything perfect.
-Marc from Shulk Fit